Up Close: Ray Ray Davis

MONROE, N.C. --- North Carolina commitment Vincent "Ray Ray" Davis burst onto the prep scene in 2006 by setting the Union County record for receptions in a season – as a sophomore, with no prior varsity experience.

"He's a playmaker – that's the best way to describe Ray," Sun Valley head football coach Scott Stein said. "He's a 100-percent playmaker. When you get the ball in his hands – which you've got to do in multiple ways because people start to focus on him – he can do some things with it."

Junior Season Highlights:

Getting the ball in Davis' hands multiple ways is Stein's top priority.

"We'll hand it to him some and we'll throw it to him a bunch," Stein said. "We'll motion him back into the backfield. We try to keep him at the ‘Z' receiver [flanker] or in the slot where people can't get up in his face. Not that that's a problem for him, because he's a big strong kid, [but] so that he can get released to a spot as quickly as possible."

In Sun Valley's Pro-I Spread Offense, which puts the ball in the air at least 50-percent of the time, Davis, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, is the primary weapon.

"Most of our passing is timing and finding the open void," said Stein. "We're not a vertical stretch passing team. We try to get it to him within five, seven, 10, 12 yards and then let him do the work.

"He's as good as anyone I've ever coached at finding the open void. Even if you have over-under coverage, he finds a way to get open."

Davis ended his sophomore season with 83 catches for 1,212 yards and 14 touchdowns and was named to the Associated Press All-State Team.

"I was real surprised in how good of a year I had and how much faith Coach Stein had in me to give me the ball and see what I can do with it," Davis said. "Nobody really knew who I was and I really fit well into the system."

Davis' numbers dropped off during his junior season, but he still managed to post 49 receptions for 663 yards and ten touchdowns. He added 87 yards and five scores on just 10 carries (8.7-yard average).

"There were six ball games [during his junior season] where he played at most a half," Stein said. "Our games were lopsided and I don't pad stats – it doesn't matter who you are.

"The reason he had 83 catches the year before is that, I believe, 13 out of 14 games we played were barnburners. The longer it's a ball game the more we're going to try to get it to Ray."

In-between the two seasons, Sam Pittman, UNC's area recruiter, discovered Davis while visiting Sun Valley.

"He just happened to come in the morning while we were working out and Ray happened to be there," Stein said. "[Pittman] had a unique opportunity to watch him lift some weights. And then we were also throwing the ball around a little bit, so he had the chance to watch him catch some balls."

UNC became the first school to recruit Davis. However, word quickly spread and other schools began to show interest.

"Carolina didn't get him because they were the only people interested – that's for sure," Stein said. "Illinois has got a lot of interest, Tennessee loved him to death, Virginia loves him, [N.C.] State – pick a college. Anybody that has seen Ray-Ray on film is interested."

Davis has also field strong interest from East Carolina, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.

During an unofficial visit to UNC in January, Davis was introduced to Charlie Williams, UNC's wide receivers coach, and formally met Pittman.

Davis returned to Chapel Hill for UNC's Junior Day in February where he was surprised with a scholarship offer. The element of surprise coupled with his feelings for the program led to Davis committing to the Tar Heels on the spot.

"I've always been a Carolina fan," Davis said. "Since I was a little kid I've wanted to play either football or basketball for Carolina."

Happy and firm with his decision, Davis is relieved to get the recruiting process over with.

"Just [glad] to get all the pressure off my back so that I can stay focused on my school and get ready to go to college," Davis said.

Ray Ray Davis Profile

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